When it comes to appliances, what do you think of when you hear the term French Doors? I am sure that about 99% of you reading this would say refrigeration. For me, however, I would think of an oven or wall oven.
That's due in part to the many years I spent working in the food/hospitality industry. In that time I learned that it’s all about flexibility and comfort when working with appliances, and the “French Door” will give you that and so much more.
Over the last twenty plus years, the Viking name has been a buzz word for high-end appliances; and they recently produced a new double French door wall oven.
In this article, we will look at Viking and their new product.
The History of Viking
Viking is an American built, family owned company based out of Greenwood, Mississippi. It was founded by Fred Carl Jr. in the early 1980’s. The Viking name over the years has been synonymous with professional ranges.
In 2012, the company was taken over by Middleby Corporation of Elgin, IL and now Viking is now considered not only a major appliance manufacturer, but a culinary company as well, involved in all aspects of the kitchen and the world of food and wine.
Viking has struggled with quality control and innovation, however, we still think highly of the brand name. To be transparent, we do not sell any Viking products at Yale.
Viking Professional Double French Door Wall Oven VDOF730 - $7,259
Extra Large 4.7 cu. ft. oven is the largest in the Industry
Rapid Ready Preheat
Vari-Speed Dual Flow Convection Ovens
11 High Performance Cooking Modes
10-Pass Infrared Broiler
3 full extension gliding racks
Three halogen lights in each oven
Timed Bake function which allows the oven to be set to begin cooking up to 24 hours later and shut off when cooking time is complete
Rapid Ready Preheat
Viking offers one of the largest oven capacity at 4.7 cubic feet.
As stated previously, I love the flexibility of the French door style, as it can be opened with one hand, and the companion door will also open simultaneously. The “French Door” style offers a unique aesthetic, and is also very functional.
If the wall oven is in a tight, closed in area, the half the door will swing, which can save space versus a full door. Once both doors are open, the access is great; you will no longer have to lift a pan over the door. This will allow easy access into the oven cavity, which can prevent burns or spills.
Viking has patented a “Vari-Speed Dual Flow Convection System” which has an 8 ¼” convection fan that rotates both clockwise and counter clockwise; this produces maximum airflow and will also pre-heat faster. These ovens offer a large cavity with great lighting, and three adjustable racks, one of which is a full extension glide out rack.
For those that love to broil, you will absolutely like the broiling option. The broiler is designed into a (10) pass ribbon element, which is enclosed in glass and has superior coverage. Because of this, you are able to get a super high heat, great for broiling steaks, as it gives you an even heat distribution.
Controls and Style
Viking has opted for simple knob controls. Many companies have intuitive panels that eliminate guesswork like Wolf, Jenn-Air, Dacor and Miele but Viking has focused more on the style.
The Viking oven gives you a very commercial kitchen look with a lot of stainless and bulky knobs that have are backlit with blue LED lights. In comparison, most ovens are all digital or have electronic controls.
Now for the bad stuff. When we parted with Viking over four years ago; at that time Viking was the most serviced brand for repair at Yale, at over 55% repaired in the first year. The average repair rate of an appliance in 2015 was about 15%.
It looks like Viking still struggles with reliability as evidenced by this comment left on our blog:
“Dear Sir, I wish I had read your blog before my husband and I purchased french door double wall ovens by Viking. There is a reason why you parted company and it was very wise. The product does not work. The service, and customer service have been like a clown car accident. It just keeps on going. We are on our 3rd oven in 3 months. I am giving them another month before I decide to return but the more research I have done, I feel we need to be free of them".-TK
Every brand has lemons. Even the most expensive brands have issues, but three in a row?
Overall, Viking has a superb broiler, and the rapid preheat system is really impressive; with ready to bake within 10 minutes (based on 350 degrees, bottom rack). This is a huge advantage for a big capacity oven.
Personally, I really like the French doors as a great option for wall ovens, because of the flexibility that it offers you. There is easier to access food and assists the flow in tight quartered kitchens, (this also true for French door refrigerators). Viking also has a distinct commercial look.
Keep in mind that we did stop selling this brand several years ago. Like you, we have a wait and see approach to the reliability of the product.
Need information on Wall Ovens? Get the Yale Wall Oven Buying Guide with features, specs and detailed profiles of all the brands like Wolf, Viking, Miele, Jenn-Air, GE Monogram and more. Well over 155,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
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Stan Pendrak is an Appliance Sales Consultant at Yale Appliance in Hanover. Stan has over 25 years of sales experience within the hospitality and appliance industry. Stan’s passion is to provide exceptional appliance sales and service solutions to everyone. In his spare time, Stan enjoys golfing and yoga.
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